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Urban Roadworks – and a quiet chuckle

By Paul Costigan - 18 January 2017 11

dickson-footpath-hole

Here in Dickson there has been a very long series of road works. As part of one of the latest, an extra lane was added and changes were made to the traffic lights on a corner near the shops.

On a couple of occasions I walked past to hear supervisors exclaiming something such as ‘wasn’t there suppose to be a #$%&* here before that curve’. And sure enough, a few days later you would see things being dug up and reworked to suit what the supervisors thought they had ordered.

In one case a footpath had been completed alongside the nursery, and it looked good. These footpaths had been under construction for months and it was a relief at last to have them back in use.

Alas after few days a crew arrived and a new two metre square hole was excavated into the brand new concrete with accompanying barriers making the footpath off limits again. We never saw what the hole was all about – did they bury a tool? Was there a new thingy supposed to be inserted first? Who knows?

Then there was the day when some parking signs were cemented in for the new parking bays created along the same new footpath. The trouble being that they were placed near the centre of the new but narrowed footpath. It was not going to be long before someone walked straight into one of them.

Hmm, I thought, someone has not been reading the last decade or two of material on creating better pedestrian areas.

dickson-footpath-pole

dickson-footpath-pole-gone

Alas, this error was realised  a day or two later when the poles were cut off and moved to the side. This was indeed a curious implementation of footpath/roads planning by someone on the construction crew.

Similarly a couple of years back in a neighbouring suburb other road works introduced a left turning lane at lights entering Limestone Ave. The next thing to arrive was someone putting in parking signs (same person?) for spaces alongside the street leading to the lights.

Unfortunately the signs were placed too close to the corner and to the lights. The result was that the new left hand lane – for vehicles to turn into Limestone – was only just over one car space in length. As you could have guessed, the lane was virtually useless as any vehicle and especially a turning bus, would turn into the lane but would have its rear still in the middle lane.

As it happened  I used to drive through this corner often and observed this phenomenon for a couple of weeks. Eventually I was frustrated by this lack of space to turn left, snapped a photo and sent it in with a suggestion. They agreed and the parking signs were moved back several car spaces to make the corner lane workable again. Why didn’t a supervisor see this when they signed off on the work?

And one last example where those doing the work seemed oblivious to the final results. In this case they were laying down new asphalt around a well used round-about. This meant that that work had to be followed up with crews to replace the arrows on the road to indicate which lane to use to either turn left, go straight ahead, or to turn to the right.

There were two lanes going into the round-about. On the right lane they put down an arrow to indicate that you used this one to turn right (logical). And in the left lane they put down an arrow to indicate that you used this lane to turn left (also logical).

Well sort of logical. Except if you wished to go straight through as I usually did. As indicated by the new arrows, nope – there was no option for that.

It took about a week before someone showed up and the turn right arrow was replaced with a joint arrow to go right or straight ahead. One wonders again about the levels of supervision.

I suspect that there could be other stories like this from across Canberra.

Have you witnessed any?

What’s Your opinion?


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11 Responses to
Urban Roadworks – and a quiet chuckle
1
nanzan 1:02 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Gosh there are so many other stories like this one out there…where does one start?

A classic one at the moment is at the (new) intersection of Constitution Avenue and Theatre Lane in Civic, adjacent to the Legislative Assembly. A brand new street sign has gone up there reading, not Theatre Lane, but Knowles Place. Knowles Place is actually on the other side of Civic where the courts are! So, currently, at either end of Theatre Lane are street signs with different names! A few metres up the hill from this intersection, a brand new street sign has been erected which reads Vernon Crescent, when in fact the correct name is Vernon Circle. The road goes all the way around City Hill, after all, not just half way….

2
HenryBG 3:46 pm
18 Jan 17
#

“Alas, this error was realised a day or two later when the poles were cut off and moved to the side. “

Perhaps you should ask yourself, “cui bono?”

Some people make millions using this method – the New Parliament House construction project was rife with vast amounts of newly-poured concrete being ripped up at taxpayers’ expense just like this.

3
Chris Mordd Richards 7:34 pm
18 Jan 17
#

Some very good points raised here, my favourite one was the road construction work on Melrose Drive between Hindmarsh Drive and Launceston Street next to Woden Town Centre, which took about a year to do with all the changes they were making.

Prior to the roadworks starting, this section was sign posted as 60Kmh. When the roadworks started and for the entire time they were ongoing, they covered all the normal speed limit 60 signs, and put up a huge number of special roadwork signs, with a speed limit of…. you guessed it! 60Kmh. I laughed every time I drove past it.

4
tim_c 11:54 am
20 Jan 17
#

I’m curious why you put the onus only on the supervisor signing off on the work? If the workers themselves could think about what they were doing and weren’t so lazy, surely the questions could be asked before things are installed. And then we have to ask the question: why did someone design it that way in the first place? Do our roads designers really have so little clue about the space a car (or bus) needs to make a left turn that they will produce a document requiring parking signs to be installed so close to the corner? The evidence suggests our road designers really don’t get out much in their cars – just look at the impracticality of the parking bays along Surprize Pl, and the southern end of Easty St and you have to wonder if the people/person who designed these things even understands how a car steers and turns!

5
nealg 9:33 pm
21 Jan 17
#

I had a similar, but potentially more dangerous example four years ago. A Give Way sign was erected at the roundabout at the lake end of Anzac Parade and facing traffic coming down Anzac. The sign however was not placed in the concrete median strip but nearly two metres into the roundabout on the road. It was just off the left side of the left roundabout lane and could have been a major hazard to cyclists and motorcyclists travelling through the roundabout.
I initially contacted the ACT Gov about it but was told it was an NCA issue.

The reply I finally got from the NCA was,
“Some weeks ago, NCA discussed relocation of the two post signs in the road surface chevron line marking areas at the ANZAC Pde / Parkes Way roundabout with representatives of Roads ACT. It would appear that having the signs in the on-road chevron line marked zones does comply with standards. However, it was agree that the signs could be moved back into the existing raised medians for the practical and safety improvements you have proposed.”

Whoever thought that the positioning of the sign on the road “complied with standards” didn’t appear to know too much about road safety.

It pays to persevere.

6
Masquara 9:33 pm
22 Jan 17
#

HenryBG said :

“Alas, this error was realised a day or two later when the poles were cut off and moved to the side. “

Perhaps you should ask yourself, “cui bono?”

Some people make millions using this method – the New Parliament House construction project was rife with vast amounts of newly-poured concrete being ripped up at taxpayers’ expense just like this.

I was told about a fellow who damaged his arm on a private building site in the ‘burbs, and his union mates arranged for him to turn up to a new job at Parliament House the next day, which he did, and was put on compo after “damaging his arm” on his first day on the job at APH.

7
Masquara 9:37 pm
22 Jan 17
#

The biggest traffic cluster has to have been the Russell Interchange on-and-off lanes. They were treated as though it was a US design, and ended up with a ridiculously long “on” lane on the left heading East, and a frighteningly short “off” lane heading West, which didn’t allow time for the traffic to merge. They fixed it after a few weeks.

8
Paul Costigan 7:12 am
23 Jan 17
#

About the ‘Russell Interchange on-and-off lanes” – Yes – could not agree more. It opened with great fanfare about how it would solve the traffic jams. But that down the ramp off Kings Ave – coming north from the lake then left down onto Parkes Way was as short as you could make it so there was little chance to get up to speed to merge and so the queues were instantly long at busy times.

Yes it was fixed a few weeks later and you still see the change in the bitumen where it had to be extended.

BUT – it still does not work at the most busy time around 5pm. I have sat in the slow queue that at times goes back to King Edward Terrace outside the National Gallery. The so called merging is often no better that when it was a round-about for people going that route – the merging on Parkes Way needed to be a real merge rather than the down lane having to wait (often stop) to get in (not really merging that is).

And this is what traffic people do? And who signed off on that job?

9
Chris Mordd Richards 8:31 am
23 Jan 17
#

Masquara said :

HenryBG said :

“Alas, this error was realised a day or two later when the poles were cut off and moved to the side. “

Perhaps you should ask yourself, “cui bono?”

Some people make millions using this method – the New Parliament House construction project was rife with vast amounts of newly-poured concrete being ripped up at taxpayers’ expense just like this.

I was told about a fellow who damaged his arm on a private building site in the ‘burbs, and his union mates arranged for him to turn up to a new job at Parliament House the next day, which he did, and was put on compo after “damaging his arm” on his first day on the job at APH.

What a fascinating and completely unsubstantiated anecdotal rumour. Do you have any more?

10
Deref 5:09 pm
13 Feb 17
#

And we wonder why our rates are so high.

11
m_ratt 9:51 am
29 Mar 17
#

How about this gem in Franklin:
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-35.1988739,149.1422067,3a,75y,197.44h,70.71t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sDh3OCDcsVwZ8tcISZT0IuA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Not sure how long these signs were like this, but eventually removed after I queried what on earth a driver was supposed to do.

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